The Wiki Website on Sye Ten Bruggencate!
- I think this has application, in parts, to the experience that Pi had earlier and I just had with Sye Ten Bruggencate. - RLBaty
Sye Ten Bruggencate
Sye Ten Bruggencate, a.k.a., Sye TenB., is an internet
personality who subscribes to the Transcendental Argument
for the existence of God (TAG), a branch of Christian
He is also a regular contributor to Eric Hovind's `Creation
Today' web series of videos on anti-science, and biblical
literalism; which disseminate provably false information
about science, with the goal of indoctrinating children
and vulnerable adults.
Ten Bruggencate is internet famous for having a single idea
which isn't nearly as interesting as he asserts it is.
He repeats this over and over on the assumption it will
eventually either make sense, or distract attention away
from the fact that...doesn't in fact depend on the kind
of absolutism he nevertheless insists it does.
Ten Bruggencate is extremely sincere in his religious beliefs
and enthusiastic about sharing them with others.
The Achilles' heel of his argument is a coupling of his refusal
to accept the syllogism at the heart of his own proposal with
his eagerness to reassign this characteristic towards anyone
who happens to point it out.
Ten Bruggencate subscribes to an all-too-common view of
atheism that atheists are in willful denial of what
they know to be true.
His most notorious 15 megabytes of fame came when he issued
a challenge to the illusionist, public speaker, outspoken
atheist, executive producer of the TV series `Bullxxxx'
and one half of the magic duo Penn & Teller, Penn Jillette
to debate atheism versus Christianity.
There is no evidence Mr. Jillette ever received an invitation
to this debate, and the only mention of it ever having been
issued may be found on pro-creationist websites to which ten Bruggencate is either directly or loosely affiliated.
Ten Bruggencate's one idea comes in the form of a series of
straw man arguments and creationist escape hatch questions,
for which there is no "yes" or "no," "right" or "wrong"
These questions follow a cascading script of ever more
irrational assumptions, so that no matter which answer to
whichever question is given, it always leads to the same
In a podcast debate between ten Bruggencate, Eric Hovind
and the hosts of the Fundamentally Flawed podcast, both
Hovind and ten Bruggencate admitted on several occasions
that presuppositional apologetics is circular in nature.
Hence as a means of proving the existence of Yahweh it is
a conclusion drawn from its own proposition and, therefore,
any claim to have evidence for the existence of the Christian
God is based upon a logical fallacy.
Having realized they had inadvertently undone their own
argument, the duo went on to assert that this is no
different to the atheistic position on sense, reason and
memory, since without a belief in God it is
> "impossible to prove anything,"including Darwinian evolution by means of natural selection,
the big bang, the age of the earth and myriad other scientific
facts which have cast doubt over the alleged inerrancy of the
Bible for hundreds of years.
Ten Bruggencate denies that his methods are viciously circular (instead dubbing them 'virtuously circular'), despite that
his own website demonstrates this perfectly.
His understanding of what constitutes a valid criticism of
circular reasoning, versus his denial that he uses exactly
the same methods, has led some to speculate that he might
be being deliberately provocative, in order to raise his
profile as a public speaker, rather than because he
genuinely believes the creator of the universe would only
choose to communicate with people who already believe He
exists, but remain invisible to those who can prove the
origins of the Yahweh myth actually reside in bronze-age
Sye uses a quote from Bahnsen, which explains it.
Greg Bahnsen writes:
> "In the Christian worldview, however, the ChristianFor this reason ten Bruggencate personifies many aspect
> is not engaged in viciously circular argument, a
> circular argument on the same plane. We appeal above
> and beyond the temporal realm. God's self-revelation
> in nature and in Scripture informs us of the two-level
> universe. God is not a fact like other facts in the
> world. He is the Creator and Establisher of all else.
> His existence alone makes the universe, and reason,
> and human experience possible The "circularity" of
> a transcendental argument is not at all the same as
> the fallacious `circularity' of an argument in which
> the conclusion is a restatement (in one form or
> another) of one of its premises." ~ (Pushing the
> Antithesis pg.) 124.
of Poe's Law.
(T)he promised proof that God exists...reads,
> "The Proof that God exists is thatTen Bruggencate's entire argument is ... predicated upon
> without Him you couldn't prove anything".
a semantic confusion between strict definitions of this
kind in science, and the informal use of words such as
theory and logic in common parlance.
The mental acrobatics ten Bruggencate has to perform,
when presented with the facts about his methods, very
often result in a dark satire of religious groupthink
and other forms of confirmation bias.
That he is completely oblivious to the fact he demonstrates
this every time he opens his mouth or sets pen to paper,
has made him the unwitting poster-child of circular reasoning
in various debating circles, albeit to an extremely limited
Because of this, it has been argued that to merely engage
him on the intellectual level he incorrectly assumes he
is capable of operating on, is to give the fish all the
oxygen he needs to outgrow his small pond.
Others have argued that it is better to examine his ideas
and reveal their weaknesses, than allow him to continue
operating under the delusion that they have merit.
Ten Bruggencate therefore has a number of outstanding
challenges open to him on many websites, blogs and
discussion forums, which he rarely responds to directly,
except to demand that other people account for his own misunderstanding.
This, and his repeated refusals to engage with his many
critics on any topic outside of the TAG, has seen him
banned from a number of websites and blog comment threads.
He frequently justifies his stonewall approach to debating
any aspect of Christianity with non-Christians, by
threatening them with the fires of hell for their failure
to agree that to engage in such a conversation, would
require that they first acknowledge the existence of
Repeat, ad nauseum.
Unfortunately for the moderators of sites which are then
given no choice but to ban him for using threatening language,
this merely plays into his underlying persecution complex,
leading him to play the hurt feelings card with anyone only
willing to listen to his side of the storywhich seldom bears
any resemblance to a true reflection of the facts.
Having been caught playing this game on numerous occasions,
this has given rise to a supreme irony; that very often one
of the few things both Christians and atheists can agree
upon, in on-line debates which ten Bruggencate has involved
himself in, is that he alienates as many religious seeking
common ground with non-believers, as he does atheists who
demand nothing less than freedom of religious expression
for their many interlocutors who, unlike Sye, do not make
the case for Christianity by resorting to threats and fear
Therefore, albeit to an extremely limited audience of
dominionist evangelicals, who are either willfully ignorant
of, or genuinely oblivious to the kind of bait and switch
debating techniques he employes, ten Bruggencate's exclusion
from numerous debating forums is merely "yet more proof" that
it is his ideas which atheists find uncomfortable, when in
reality it is dealing with someone only interested in
listening to themselves which proves the bigger challenge.
Essay:Refutation of 'Proof That God Exists'
Gods that don't Exist: Sye Ten Bruggencate December 2, 2011
1 Proof That God Exists: about me